Sunday, April 1, 2007
Digital Exposure Essentials
Getting the exposure right is at least as important when shooting digital as when shooting film
One way to deal with a complex lighting situation is to use exposure lock. If the scene you’re trying to photograph has a wide range of light and dark objects, for example, metering something that’s midtone (or close to middle gray) often will be a much better interpretation of the natural light. Sometimes metering the sky is a good option, as long as you’re not facing the sun. It’s always wise to experiment. Try a number of different places to point your camera and lock the exposure before you reframe and take each shot.
The single best tool you have at your disposal for determining the right combination of ƒ-stop and shutter speed is the histogram. Not all digital cameras have this feature, but if yours does, you definitely should use it because a histogram shows the exact range of tones captured by the image sensor. A photo’s exposure can look good on the LCD monitor, but upon later review on your computer, it actually can be quite poor. The goal always should be to get the best possible photo in the first place, and the histogram makes this easy.
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